Our story

Our story


1948 - Incorporation as the Lincolnshire Naturalists' Trust

1948 - Gibraltar Point established as a nature reserve; Field Station and Bird Observatory opened

Bird Observation Committee Gibraltar Point

British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) Bird Observation Committee at Gibraltar Point, 1950


1953 - Public inquiry into refusal of planning permission for caravans at Gibraltar Point

1954 - Scotton Common, first freehold nature reserve acquired 

1957 - Epworth and Haxey Tubaries acquired; appeal launched for Linwood Warren 

1959 - Old Coastguard House at Gibraltar Point leased to Trust


1960 - First national conference of Wildlife Trusts held at Skegness

1962 - Public inquiry into revocation of planning permission for caravan camp on Saltfleetby sand dunes

1963 - Waddingham Common, one of Lincolnshire's premier wildlife sites, destroyed by drainage and ploughing; First information centre at Gibraltar Point opened by Peter Scott

1965 - Headquarters established at the Manor House, Alford; Field Officer appointed 

1966 - First Trust film "Nature in Trust" produced; Protected Roadside Verge Scheme established - the first in Britain

1967 - First Area Group formed; Baston Fen acquired 

1968 - First nature trail at Mausoleum Wood, Broklesby


1970 - 'Invest in Lincolnshire's Wildlife' appeal launched

1971 - Visit of HRH The Prince of Wales to Gibraltar Point

1972 - Premier of the Trusts second film "An Eye for the Country"

1973 - Trust celebrates Silver Jubilee year; First edition of nature reserves handbook

1974 - New visitor centre at Gibraltar Point opened by Sir David Attenborough

1976 - Frampton Marsh reserve established; Director appointed

1977 - First Job Creation team appointed

1978 - Lincoln shop opened

1979 - Donna Nook nature reserve established, First Regional Warden appointed


1983 - Membership reaches 5,000; Far Ings nature reserve acquired

1984 - Gibraltar Point designated National Nature Reserve

1985 - 'Coast and Country Campaign' launched

1986 - Wash Viewpoint opened

1987 - Campaign total reached £160k; Membership passes 7,000

1988 - Far Ings visitor centre work begins; Red Data Report published - the first in any county; 90th nature reserve established; 40th Anniversary Reception in Lincoln

1989 - New reserves at Barrow Haven, Boultham Mere and Kingerby Beck Meadows; Churchyard survey launched; Whisby Nature Park established


1990 - Trust Chairman, Ted Smith, awarded the Christopher Cadbury Medal for services to nature conservation

1991 - Far Ings visitor centre opened

1992 - Fenland Lagoon created at Gibraltar Point; Robert's Field, formally one of Lincolnshire's finest limestone grasslands, rich in butterflies, but planted with conifers in the 1960s, is bought by the Trust for restoration; Pasture Wharf on the Humber Bank purchased

1993 - Trust headquarters moves to Banovallum House, Horncastle; Hebridean sheep flock established for grazing heaths and grasslands

1994 - Trust enters English Nature's Reserves Enhancement Scheme

1995 - Natterjack toad successfully re-introduced to Gibraltar Point; Crowle Waste designated as National Nature Reserve

1996 - Westfield Lakes extension to Far Ings purchased with help of grant from Heritage Lottery Fund; 'Nature in Lincolnshire: Towards a Biodiversity Strategy' published

1997 - Read's Island join Trust/RSPB project begins; Heritage Lottery Fund assists: Red Hill reserve extension, Scotton Common extension, Toby's Hill acquisition 

1998 - Trust celebrates it's Golden Jubilee; Ted Smith receives Hon. Doctorate; Membership reaches 10,000; Gibraltar Point celebrates 50th anniversary; Five-Year Heritage Capital Projects grant award; Trust is Lincolnshire Environmental Award outright winner

1999 - Ted Smith awarded CBE; Whisby Nature Park Millennium grant confirmed; Trust name changed to "Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust"


2000 - Whisby Millennium buildings complete; Bitterns breeding again at Far Ings; Croftmarsh extension at Gibraltar Point

2001 - Nature reserves close due to foot and mouth; Official opening of Millennium buildings at Whisby Nature Park by HRH Duke of Edinburgh; Greetwell Hollow in Lincoln becomes a Trust nature reserve; Grant of £365k awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund for Education and Community Project

2002 - The new Local Nature Reserve at Gibraltar Point, including Jackson's Marsh, Croftmarsh and Tennyson's Sands officially opened; Donna Nook declared a National Nature Reserve - it is the first National Nature Reserve to be declared on Ministry of Defence owned land; Wildlife Watch membership reaches 2,000; Whisby Nature Park is declared a Local Nature Reserve

2003 - Membership reaches 20,000; Five pairs of Bitterns breed in Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire; Deeping Lakes nature reserve established; Launch of the Coversands project

2004 - Trust launches appeal to establish Legbourn Wood as a nature reserve; Avocets nest on two Trust nature reserves

2005 - Far Ings is designated a National Nature Reserve; Rush Furlong and Dole Wood are extended; The Trust joined in partnership with Lindum Rotary Club to organise the Lincolnshire Environmental Awards; Launch of the Lincolnshire Limewoods Project

2006 - Visitor centre at Gibraltar Point National Nature Reserve re-developed and extended; Far Ings National Nature Reserve extended with the purchase of Target Lake; Five-year South Humber Wildlife and People (SHWAP) project launched; Lincolnshire Environmental Records Centre launched

2007 - New visitor and education centre opened at Far Ings National Nature Reserve; "Trustee's for Nature" - a memoir of the conservation movement in Lincolnshire and the UK by Ted Smith published; Lincolnshire Biodiversity Partnership launched

2008 - Trust celebrates it's Diamond Jubilee; "Wild Lincolnshire" - a photographic book by Geoff Trinder published; After 32 years as Director of the Trust, Stuart Crooks retires; Paul Learoyd starts as new Chief Executive; The Wildlife Trusts' Chritopher Cadbury staff medal is awarded to Stuart Crooks

2009 - Willow Tree Farm purchased; Anderby Marsh purchased; In November, the Marine and Coastal Access Bill receives Royal Assent and becomes an Act and law


2010 - Volunteers survey over 2,200km of roadside nature reserve in south-west Lincolnshire as part of the Life on the Verge Project; Two films, made in 1967 and 1972 are re-released; Whisby Wildlife Watch Group is selected as the national Wildlife Watch Group of the Year

2011 - Life on the Verge project launched in the Lincolnshire Wolds with funding from Heritage Lottery Fund; The Lincolnshire Environmental Records Centre receives it's one millionth wildlife record; Heritage Lottery Fund contribution helps communities celebrate Lincolnshire Coastal Country Park and Coastal Grazing Marshes

2012 - Ted Smith CBE, founding member and President of the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust presented with The Wildlife Trusts Centenary Award by Sir David Attenborough

2013 - Appeal launched to raise £500k to purchase Woodhall Spa Airfield; A surge tide on the evening of 5 December floods coastal nature reserves and visitor centres

2014 - Visitor centres at Gibraltar Point and Far Ings closed due to December 2013 tidal surge; Plans unveiled for new £1m visitor centre at Gibraltar Point; Woodhall Spa Airfield purchased with funding from WREN's Biodiversity Action Fund Land Purchase Programme together with a £100k legacy donation from Robert Thomas Pearson and public donations; Work began to create new 40 acre nature reserve at Huttoft Marsh near Mablethorpe; Following success from Life on the Verge project, Trust receives grant of £76,300 from Heritage Lottery Fund for the Lincolnshire's Wildflower Meadows Network project

2015 - Construction of the new visitor centre at Gibraltar Point began; Whisby Wildlife Watch Group won The Wildlife Trusts' Watch Group of the Year

2016 - The new visitor centre at Gibraltar Point opened in May and was officially opened by Simon King in October with an opportunity to re-dedicate Gibraltar Point to the late Ted Smith; Woodhall Spa Airfield opened as a nature reserve as part of Lincolnshire's Heritage Open Days in September; Alford Wildlife Watch Group awarded second place in the national Wildlife Watch Group of the Year competition; Lincolnshire Coop donated £72k to the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust through their Community Champions Scheme

2017 - The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) confirmed a grant for £499,000 for the Lincolnshire Plants: Past and Future Project (#LoveLincsPlants); Swinn Wood became a Trust nature reserve; Following extensive work on the reedbeds, bitterns returned to breed at Far Ings

2018 - Ponies were used to graze nature reserves for the first time; Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust celebrated it's 70th anniversary; The Story of Gibraltar Point by Barrie Wilkinson was published; A successful crowdfunding campaign enabled the distribution of 'The Lost Words' to every school in Lincolnshire, the book highlights nature words lost from the Oxford Junior Dictionary 

2019 - the middle section of Sow Dale was purchased, reconnecting the Upper and Lower parts of the valley; Two grassy fields next to Lawn Wood, and Bottleneck & Jackson’s Meadow Nature Reserves with fantastic potential for restoration were purchased; Successful breeding of water rails at Whisby Nature Park was confirmed by footage from trail cameras

Leave a legacy

Support us